Two District Men Plead Guilty to August 2021 Armed Kidnappings Using Blindfolds and Zip Ties
Victims Abducted at Gunpoint, Driven to ATMs
WASHINGTON – Taheed Ebron, 21, and Nathan Coleman, 29, both of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to kidnapping two men at gunpoint over a five-day period in August 2021 and using blindfolds and zip ties to restrain their victims.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Both defendants pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to two counts of armed kidnapping. Ebron also pleaded guilty to carrying a pistol without a license in a separate firearm case. The guilty pleas are contingent upon the Court’s approval. Ebron’s plea calls for an agreed-upon sentence of 10 to 12 years in prison, and Coleman’s plea calls for eight to 10 years in prison. The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2022.
According to the government’s evidence, on Aug. 24, 2021, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Ebron, Coleman, and a third perpetrator kidnapped a man at gunpoint while he was walking home in the 1300 block of Corcoran Street NW. The defendants pulled the man’s COVID face mask over his eyes as a blindfold and forced him into the rear of Ebron’s silver Nissan Rogue SUV. They demanded that he turn over his cellphone, credit and debit cards, and personal identification numbers (PINs). The defendants then drove the man to multiple ATM locations and used his financial cards to withdraw more than $1,400 from his accounts. They also used the man’s cards and cellphone to make a series of purchases and transactions, including a $1,200 PayPal transfer. Ebron, Coleman, and the third perpetrator eventually released the man from the SUV, forcing him to lay face down on the ground in an alley before driving away.
Just days later, on Aug. 28, 2021, at approximately 3:45 a.m., Ebron, Coleman, and a third perpetrator kidnapped another man at gunpoint near the intersection of 13th and E Streets NE while he was riding an electric scooter on the way to work. After seeing the man, Ebron parked his silver Nissan Rogue SUV in the intersection, and Ebron, Coleman, and the third perpetrator exited the vehicle. The defendants ran toward the man and caught and threw him to the ground. They then hooded him using a drawstring bag and restrained his hands with zip ties that Ebron and Coleman had purchased the previous day. The defendants forced the man into the SUV and demanded his wallet, cellphone, and PINs. They drove him to an ATM and withdrew more than $1,000 from his bank account. Ebron, Coleman, and the third perpetrator eventually released the man from the vehicle, instructing him to run straight ahead and not look back or else be shot. The defendants then used his debit card to make a series of purchases and withdrawals.
A joint MPD and FBI investigation led to Coleman’s arrest on Sept. 6, 2021, and Ebron’s arrest the following day. Both have been in custody since their arrests.
In announcing the pleas, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from MPD’s Special Investigation Section and the FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crimes Task Force. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Alesha Matthews, and Victim/Witness Specialists Christina Bloodworth and Karina Hernandez. Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles R. Jones and Mary L. Dohrmann, who investigated and prosecuted the case.